Joe and Helen Draper of J & J’s Fish & BBQ in Pomona have always had posters of Barack Obama and his family, MLK and other Black figures in their restaurant. Now they’ve added Kamala Harris images. I talk to the couple, both 75, about their lives and their hopes for the Biden-Harris administration in Sunday’s column.
Father Bill Moore, the painter about whom I wrote in September, died last week of cancer. I write about him in Friday’s column, followed by items about filming in Claremont, a singer from Pomona and a famous skeptic’s death that has an Upland angle.
With its 73rd summertime concert series scrubbed, five members of the venerable Pomona Concert Band are rehearsing in a driveway each week. They range in age from 27 to 93, and they’re used to playing in the open air, but usually from the Ganesha Park bandshell. I visit with them in Wednesday’s column.
The LA County Fair would’ve ended Sunday after 19 days, had it not been canceled. Looking back, though, the fair might’ve had to close one or two days due to bad air. And remember the weekend it was 116? That would have been a blast (as in furnace). I look back at the fair that wasn’t in Sunday’s column.
Father Bill Moore has a retrospective show of 50 years of paintings at the Progress Gallery in downtown Pomona. The priest once had a studio and loft in the neighborhood. The beloved figure is at the end of his life due to cancer and says he’s at peace. I interview him for Wednesday’s column.
The LA County Fair would have started today but for coronavirus, which caused officials to cancel the event back in May. I visit anyway to see the strangely quiet fairgrounds, find out what we missed and memorialize the absence of the annual event, for the first time since World War II, in Friday’s column.
I follow up on the recent Pomona drama involving the disgraced councilman with some subsequent developments, like that he attended a second closed-session meeting (#awkward) and also that a member of Congress has denounced him. And I spare room for a sendoff for Kent Crowley, a local history buff and gentle character who boosted the connections of “Wipe Out” and Frank Zappa to Rancho Cucamonga. Both those items are in Sunday’s column.
I follow up my recent column on former Progress-Bulletin sportswriter Fred Claire with comments by readers who remember his work of a half-century and more ago, plus a few comments of my own about the new book on him, all in Sunday’s column. He went on to spend 30 years with the Dodgers, culminating as executive vice president.
You may recall the matter of the Pomona councilman who faces child pornography charges. The City Council demanded his resignation in May but he hasn’t complied. He still holds office and draws a paycheck. I delve into this odd, uncomfortable situation in Friday’s column.
Not a headline you’d expect to see on one of my columns, although the “1950s diner” part may make it clearer why I handled this one. Mission Family Restaurant, built in 1958 and closed in 2013, was a total loss after a pre-dawn blaze Sunday. I tell the story and recount the glory days and sad recent past in my Wednesday column.